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Confusticate

To confuse, confound or perplex.

Origin

No one really knows where this word comes from, but it belongs to an exclusive class of words referred to as American English, coined and very popular in the mid-19th century, perhaps originating in a minstrel comedy show.

Confusticate is first recorded in the 19th century slang dictionary where it is referred to “Americanism”, in other sources this word is recorded to be slang or dialect.

Why this word?

Most of us who have read Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”, are familiar with this great word from the very first chapter where it is exclaimed “confusticate and bebother those dwarves!” however, believing this word to be coined by Tolkien himself is a common mistake. Proving this belief to be false is the first reason!

The second would be that it is just fun to say and the combination of vowels and consonants in this one really seems to fit with its meaning.

How to use confusticate?

In the exact same way you would use confuse and confound, or even puzzle!

David: “How can you be puzzled which such a simple thought?”

Dana: “Stop telling me it is simple; you simply enjoy confusticating me!”

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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for UnusedWords.com. Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.

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